Telling the Freaking Truth ~ Homeschooling
Lately, I have been inspired and pulled to write the freaking truth, about many different things. It is so simple really, but when we stop and really think about it, it is more common for most of us to never really dig in and tell the real truth. We might share the surface, but the deep stuff...we have lots of "reasons" why we don't share our truths. They might be: it's personal, it would make people uncomfortable, it isn't meant to be shared, when people ask how are you? they don't really want the honest truth, they want the usual answer "I'm fine, how are you?" ...
Part of me is still very influenced by my French upbringing and even though I have spent more years now in Canada than in France, I still have that uncensored way of telling what is on my mind. It has gotten me in "trouble" in the past. Sometimes I have been told that I am too honest, too real, too raw. This was mostly several years ago, because I have learned over time to know which people I can be completely myself with and which are only wanting the "perfect" exterior.
Telling the Freakin' Truth is one of those awesome phrases from Julie that really hit me at the Brave Writer Retreat. She had been sharing that message through her periscopes but really hearing her in person, hearing her encouraging all of us moms to speak our minds, was so free-ing. I have been wanting to share so much more on my blog, to open up more. Part of it worries me, because in the process of sharing the truth, I don't want to upset anyone but I really feel the need to do this.
I have written on this blog about our homeschool adventures for 9 years. When I moved to the island, I started a new blog and migrated all my homeschool blog within it, as well as my personal blog so there are some more personal posts in the archives but the majority have been about homeschooling, books, and a bit of traveling.
I believe that it's important to share more about my thoughts. If you know me personally, you know that I love to write and want to practice much more. Blogging is a great outlet for writing so here I go!
|Two of my kids and I being silly in the rain together|
Now that I say I am going to tell the freakin' truth, does it mean that my previous posts have been lies? NO! It just means that they were all "surface", similar to what you see on a photo. You see the surface, you don't necessarily know all the details. Just like I mentioned earlier, I always treated this blog as a friend that wants to know mostly just the good parts. Telling the freakin' truth doesn't mean being negative or ugly either, it just means being real. At 44 years old, I am done with just sharing the surface, only showing the happy picture of my life. There was a time when I believed that this was the right way to blog for myself. I didn't want to share too much information about my children especially. I likely won't share much about them still but I want to share more about my own life, my experiences, relationships, struggles, and whatever I feel inspired to write.
So I leave you today with a little powerful truth. This one about homeschooling. It might be obvious or not, but I feel that it doesn't get shared enough. Homeschooling my own children was very rewarding and an amazing experience. But, I gave myself completely to that, I dedicated my time to my children and their education. For 11 years, they were my number one priority and I don't regret that one bit. Looking back, I am not even sure I would do anything differently but if someone was looking into homeschooling, I would encourage them to try to balance their lives better than I did.
For the first few years of homeschooling, I truly lost myself in my children. I dedicated myself to learn with them, coach them, help them, etc...I lived, breathed, dreamed homeschooling. During any spare time I had, I researched curriculum, projects, library books, books, supplies. I looked over their work, I constantly looked for ways to improve their experiences. I looked for interesting things to do in our community that would enhance their education. Everything I did was focused on that. So much so that when, a few years in, we moved to a different city and they chose to try public school again, I was completely lost. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my time. I sat on a chair in the quiet house after they left for school and truly had no idea what to do. I had to learn again about myself, what I might be interested in for me, not for my kids. This was not healthy and once the school year was done and we all started homeschooling again, I vowed to myself that I would not ignore my own interests or shut down my own curiosity ever again.
So that is my first freakin' truth is that homeschooling is amazing but try to not loose yourself completely in it. Try to continue knowing who you are and what excites you. You can be defined by what you do with your children and be the homeschool mom, but don't forget that you also had a life before this adventure and interests, talents, abilities, goals and curiosity!
Even if you are so busy with home education that you can't imagine carving any time for your own pursuits, try as best as you can to take some time, even if it's just a tiny moment, to do something YOU like. Steal a moment to read a chapter in a book, do five minute meditation, play the piano, practice a hand stand against the wall, knit a few rows. At first, it might just be five minutes a day but as you build the habit and your children get older and used to this practice of yours, you will be able to stretch your moments into longer periods of time. This is not about being selfish, it is about not forgetting about yourself. It is also about modeling that adults can also learn, try new things, have passions and curiosity about anything and everything! I truly believe that is a very powerful message to give to our kids. And when you retire from homeschooling, you might just have some amazing ideas and interests that help you through the transition.
The two questions I get asked a lot since we stopped homeschooling is if Celeste is enjoying school and how I am doing. I appreciate both questions equally and I am grateful to have caring friends but I am also very relieved that I can honestly say that we are both doing great. She is really enjoying the new experience of school and I have transitioned well too, pursuing my interests and being excited about what the future might hold for both of us!
There is another big truth about homeschooling that doesn't get shared often, but I will keep that for another post!